DRC has ratified a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in the fight against the illicit trade in CITES species. The content of the agreement is available both on the website of the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Tourism (MECNT) and in its offices, but it has not been translated into community languages and it has not been publicised. Furthermore, communities and even forest authorities are not very aware of it at a local level. The fact that it is available on the MECNT’s website does not mean that it is known and relevant to the communities, civil society and all stakeholders.
The current Voluntary Partnership Agreement negotiations with the European Union could come to a standstill due to Congolese bureaucracy. The negotiation sessions and the drafting of the legal framework are taking place in an opaque context which does not allow the communities to know about the process. Several comments were made to the government on the way that members of the Technical Commission for Negotiation were selected, with only three members out of a total of 33 representing civil society. The under-representation of civil society in these negotiations is a key factor which does not help the balance of power. Moreover, working group meetings have been continually postponed since September 2011. The lack of adequate funds dedicated to raising awareness among communities means that the public is inadequately informed on this process, which shows that the government has little consideration for this fundamental process.
|Title||a. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
b. Voluntary Partnership Agreement between Democratic Republic of Congo and the European Union
|Date||a. Document CITES (convention) of 18/10/1976
b. On 21/10/10 the joint declaration with the European Union was signed in Brussels and on 27/11/2010 Decree 053 was passed on the establishment, functioning and organisation of the Technical Commission of the VPA negotiations of European Union and the DRC